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Personal gun sales in Indiana

After last week's school shooting in Florida, many are looking at gun laws across the nation. The lack of restrictions in Indiana have some concerned.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2018 6:17 PM
Updated: Feb. 21, 2018 6:35 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - After last week's school shooting in Florida, many are looking at gun laws across the nation.

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Gun owner Harry Shields says, "I think you should be able to sell a piece of your property. That's what it is to me, a piece of property."

Gun owner Don Chamberlain shares, “There's some problems that need to be addressed."

Both Shields and Chamberlain have personally sold guns. But the lack of restrictions on that process in Indiana have some concerned.

Firearms salesperson at Carson Arms, Mack Adams, says, "I think it would probably be more beneficial if the Indiana background requirements were a little more strenuous. As far as to ensure that anyone who is buying a weapon has been through that background process."

Right now in Indiana, you could sell a gun to a stranger you connected with online or at a gun show. Other than your judgment of character and their word, you don't really know who you're selling to.

Adams says, "It is your responsibility as a sales person to know that person is not a felon, are they addicted to alcohol or drugs, are of legal age, and can legally own that weapon."

In the state of Illinois to legally own a firearm or ammo, you have to have a firearm owner identification card. In Indiana, that isn't the case. But Adams says when it comes to personally transferring a gun, it is a good idea to ask for an Indiana Carry Permit.

Adams says, "Anything negative in their background other than you know maybe speeding tickets that type of stuff, they won't be issued that Indiana Carry Permit. So a lot of people I know that do sell guns to individuals, they will not sell a gun to someone if they cannot show them a valid permit."

Another way to get around uncertainty, is to get a gun dealer involved.

Chamberlain says, "It would be very simple to go into a dealer inside a gun show and say we would like to have this transferred, would you take care of it?"

On the spot, a background check is done, which could help prevent a gun from getting into the wrong hands.

Officials suggest keeping a log of guns you've bought and sold, and to have both parties sign and date it. That way, if the new owner doesn't take the step to have the gun transferred into "their" name, you have documents to protect you.

Both Shield and Chamberlain say they prefer to only sell guns to people they know. But Chamberlain is still a big supporter of gun transfers through a Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer.

He says, "I only dealt with personal acquaintances, but who they deal with I have no control or knowledge of. You don't know what will happen to your gun if it's not in the right hands.”

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